Deepa Jayakumar, the niece of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J Jayalalithaa, on Friday announced that she was floating a new party named the MGR Amma Deepa Peravai. Deepa also said that she would contest Assembly elections from the RK Nagar constituency in Chennai.
Deepa is expected to use her blood ties with Jayalalithaa to the hilt, and that may be a problem for the AIADMK and Sasikala, as well as O Panneerselvam, who can now be considered practically ousted from the party. Here is a look at how Deepa's entry into electoral politics affects the scenario of TN.
1. AIADMK, Sasikala and E Palaniswami: Sasikala Natarajan, who is currently incarcerated at the Parappana Agrahara Central Prison in Bengaluru, had been looking to rule the state in the name of Amma — she herself is referred to as Chinnamma — before she was convicted in the Disproportionate Assets case. In her absence, Palaniswami has been sworn in as chief minister, as the AIADMK claimed that Jayalalithaa's legacy had been saved.
Now, with Deepa emerging into the spotlight, that legacy may no more be associated with Sasikala or Palaniswami, and therefore also not with the AIADMK, any more, especially if Deepa emerges as a strong leader.
2. O Panneerselvam: OPS, too, had pledged to work in the name of Jayalalithaa, but he was ousted from the AIADMK. However, Deepa had earlier thrown her weight behind Panneerselvam. If they join hands, Panneerselvam would indeed be strengthened to a degree where he can claim the people's support and oust Palaniswami.
3. DMK: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which is currently in the Opposition in Tamil Nadu, will be hoping that Deepa joins hands with Panneerselvam, because once that happens, the collaboration has the ability to tear the AIADMK apart. And that would mean the DMK would have a better chance at forming government next time.
4. BJP and Congress: Neither the BJP nor the Congress has a strong presence in TN, and they may think that there is a chance to at least rise to prominence — if not form government — within the state by joining forces with Deepa.